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Ways In Which You Can Measure Lean

If you have taken the time to properly implement lean manufacturing you may be wondering what type of lean tools you can use in order to maintain lean. The actually implementation can be easy for many companies but it is the measuring of lean and proper maintenance of it that can be difficult for many organizations to deal with. What are some of the ways in which you can measure lean to ensure that it will be successful? Here are some great options for you to consider:

- Determine the lot size. Every manufacturing plant will have different ideas pertaining to the lot size for their company. Some companies will have long runs, which lead to larger lot sizes while others have a series of short lot sizes. Determine what your lot sizes need to be and how you plan on measuring the lot size in order to maintain lean correctly.
- Order completion time. One of the other ways in which you can measure lean comes down to the order completion time. How often are your orders completed on time and then shipped out to your customers on time? With lean you will have process maps and other things that will allow you to be able to set a schedule for your order completion time. This way your customers will have their items delivered on time.
- Inventory awareness. With lean the goal is to get rid of inventory altogether as it is considered a waste for the company. Just in time manufacturing allows you to create products for the customers when they are ordered. This way your customers get a fresh product and you don't have to deal with the excess inventory overhead nor will you need to worry about shortage incidents.
- Cycle time. Each manufacturing line will have different cycle time needs. You need to be able to set tools in place to manage the cycle times to maintain production and efficiency. For most organizations the cycle times will deal with the amount of time it takes for a product to go from being a raw good to being a completed product. You will need to use data tools to assist in measuring things like the amount of time it takes to set up the machinery to get you the right type of production level you need.
- Reduction in idling time. The amount of time that your machinery ends up idling is a waste. You need to use lean to help you in creating scheduling your machinery so that you can maintain a higher amount of production but to know the capacity of your machinery. Using lean will allow you to use the machinery when needed so it's not idling and wasting money. Scheduling is a large part of having proper maintenance for your organization.
- Proper raw material purchasing. As you use lean you will also be able to work with vendors that have a higher reputation and will be able to give you the best raw materials to work with for the best price. You need to work on using certified suppliers to ensure the best production but also to offer your customers higher quality products and maintaining shorter lead times.
- Reduction in labor time. One metric to use is to determine the labor productivity for your company. How much labor time does it take to manufacture each piece that you send out. With lean you can reduce the labor time and costs so that you can easily reduce how many employees you need to have running the machinery. Using lean you can set metrics that offer the labor cost per unit and you can calculate the department level lead time, which helps each department to set proper goals.

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